"Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms, but maybe not as grim as they may become here," the Game of Thrones author says.

George R.R. Martin has given an update on his progress writing The Winds of Winter and some thoughts on the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Game of Thrones author sought to assure fans that he's safe amid the reports of the COVID-19 outbreak.

"For those of you who may be concerned for me personally… yes, I am aware that I am very much in the most vulnerable population, given my age and physical condition," Martin wrote on his blog. "But I feel fine at the moment, and we are taking all sensible precautions. I am off by myself in a remote isolated location, attended by one of my staff, and I’m not going in to town or seeing anyone."

The author added that he's writing every day and hinted that things looking rather dire at this point in his story.

George R. R. Martin
Credit: Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images

"Truth be told, I am spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day," Martin wrote. "Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms … but maybe not as grim as they may become here. I cannot help feeling as if we are all now living in a science fiction novel.   But not, alas, the sort of science fiction novel that I dreamed of living in when I was a kid, the one with the cities on the Moon, colonies on Mars, household robots programmed with the Three Laws, and flying cars. I never liked the pandemic stories half so well... As ancient as I am, I cannot recall ever having lived through anything like the past few weeks."

Martin added that his acclaimed New Mexico art experience attraction Meow Wolf has closed, as has his movie theater, the Jean Cocteau Cinema, and his non-profit organization, the Stagecoach Foundation. "Despite the shutdowns, we will continue to pay our employees at Stagecoach and the Jean Cocteau, for the foreseeable future," he added. Martin also touted his mail-order book service, noting, "With quarantines, lockdowns, and social isolation on the menu everywhere, and all the usual entertainment venues closing their doors, reading is the best way to pass the empty hours."

Martin's last A Song of Ice and Fire novel, A Dance With Dragons, was published in 2011, the same year HBO's Game of Thrones premiered. Fans have long been eager to read the follow-up, The Winds of Winter, as well as his planned seventh-and-final novel in the series, A Dream of Spring.

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